As part of the traveling exhibition, New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will join the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters to perform "Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands" - a collaborative program of African-American spirituals and slave songs native to the Georgia Low Country - on Saturday, August 18, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. in the Archie B. Myers Sr. Fine Arts Center at the McIntosh Academy in Darien, GA. This concert is free and open to the public.
The unique pairing of the Orchestra's classical instrumentation with the folk-style singers will be brought to life through arrangements and original compositions by Atlanta Symphony violinist Juan Ramirez and bassist Michael Kurth. Participating Atlanta Symphony musicians include violinists Kenn Wagner and Juan Ramirez, violist Jessica Oudin, cellist Jennifer Humphreys, bassists Brian Rehm and Michael Kurth, and trumpet Karin Bliznik.
This concert is part of the Smithsonian Institution's traveling national exhibit of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, which is made possible in Georgia by the Georgia Humanities Council in partnership with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, Georgia Council for the Arts, and Georgia Department of Economic Development. Georgia is the only state included in this national tour which is partnering with an Orchestra. The 12-city touring exhibit will include visual displays, lectures, and performances. Over the next 16 months the New Harmonies exhibit will continue through: Perry, Moultrie, Toccoa, Bremen, Thomson, Nashville, Americus, Waycross, and LaGrange, GA.
"The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra embraces its responsibility to enrich lives through the power of music," Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President Stanley E. Romanstein, Ph.D., has said. "Music comes in many forms which impact us in different ways - none more significant than how it shapes our history and defines who we are. It is important for people to have the opportunity to experience music in ways that are meaningful to them. This is why New Harmonies is such a great project in which to take part. It allows us to further our mission by sharing music with people all around the state."
As a presenting partner for the New Harmonies tour, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will extend access to its education, community, and concert programming to a broader geographic reach throughout the state of Georgia, while boosting local music participation, education, appreciation, and advocacy in each of the communities it reaches. Through this partnership, the Orchestra will present a series of community and education events to accompany the exhibition in each of the 12 cities.